Live Music + Gig Reviews

Summer Sundae Weekender 2004, Day 2 @ De Montfort Hall, Leicester

15 August 2004

The split personality of the English whether was on show for all to see today. Waking up in blazing sunshine the temperature must have hit 80 by lunchtime. It then decided to go on a wander and by 4 in the afternoon the heavens had well and truly opened, unfortunately, not on the head of David Wyatt. A churning mess that, had I not been too hot, I would have thrown sharp objects at, such was the horror: Rest assured, I was not the only one who thought this way.

Goldrush re-established my faith in the guitar with their songs of redneck America that showed real gusto and promise at times. With a good stage presence they are one to keep an eye on in the future. A trip to the indoor stage was rewarded with the country standards of Paul Burch, a one man country song book. The strangeness of being indoors at a festival for long periods of time was a little confusing, however, so it was back to the main stage outside where we were treated to Tom Robinson.

Do you know Tom Robinson? Well, Steve Lamacq, who was the compare when he wasn’t recording his radio show for BBC6 next to the stage, had only good words. He said that we were being treated to a rare live performance from a legend of the music world, or words to that effect. Maybe we were, maybe we weren’t, but whatever his standings in the history of music, he don’t half preach.

There is one thing that grates music fans at festivals, and that is preachers. Why do it? Why do we have to be subjected to such tripe? Every year, every festival, somebody has to unload their opinions, both religious and political, on us. After playing War, Baby, and that other song that we all know but don’t know the name of, a good set was turned into a sermon. Blah blah blah blah!

In order to chill out, the acoustic stage was next on the agenda. With a bar atone end and a continuous stream of local and national acoustic talent at the other, it was a nice place to be when the rain set in. Solar Flare, with their sublime melodies, were treated to a larger crowd due to the wet sky, and they used their spotlight very well. So well that I missed the start of The Belles.

With the hype following them around like an unshakeable shadow they had to deliver. The simple and highly captivating song structures gave a slightly Americana tinge to the sound, but their Lo Fi roots still came through. If their debut album Omerta continues to gather the attention that this live slot did, Radio 2 will be frothing at the mouth.

As the night wore on it became time for the closing act. French electronica from Air was the order of the day. Tracks from chillout masterpiece Moon Safari, new album Walkie Talkie and lesser 10,000Hz Legend drifted across the air like smoke. Kelly Watch The Stars, La Femme D’Argent and Sexy Boy were intertwined with Universal Traveller and Cherry Blossom Girl, all to the crowd’s delight. As the lights went down and the people dispersed back to their tents and cars and homes, I was left feeling convinced that the mini festival has as much to offer as its gargantuan mega festival contemporary.

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Air – Le Voyage Dans La Lune
Air @ Somerset House, London
Air – Love 2
Air @ Forum, London
Summer Sundae Weekender 2004, Day 2 @ De Montfort Hall, Leicester